Sunday, December 16, 2012

I Love My Husband, I Love My Husband, I Love My Husband...

You know I love my husband, right? I mean, I've written a little about our relationship in the past and he's stuck by us through all the tough times we've had with Conor. We'll be celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary in February. So I don't say the following sentiment casually. But he's forced me to say the unthinkable.

Buying one of those discount store gingerbread house kits and bringing it into our home again should be grounds for divorce.

You know what I mean. The ones that slide apart at the slightest breeze. The ones that declare "Assembles in minutes!" when what they really mean is "Good luck, suck-ahs".  

On the box, it appears as if you can build one with all the talent of Duff Goldman from Ace of Cakes, but in reality... 

Well, it looks like a 13 year-old with autism and his parents put it together.

Which is fine, totally, totally fine that it looks like Conor assembled the gingerbread house. I'm totally fine with it. Love it, love it. Except when he's not fine with it. Conor would like it to look like the picture on the box. Yeah, that ain't gonna happen, unfortunately. I'm just not artistically inclined, plus I have the patience of a gnat.

Conor fell in love with make-your-own gingerbread houses (bought at Target, of course, thank you) about three years ago. Initially, we thought it would be a fun, creative way to wile away some hours, a perfect marriage between his love of "cooking" and arts-n-crafts.  Fun with food! Whoopee!

At first, it went ok.  Then it quickly became apparent that putting together these gingerbread houses was not for the faint of heart. Armed with the dime store bags of frosting, we'd apply globs and goops of white, green and red frosting onto the inedible "gingerbread" walls and roof.

Please stay together, please stay together, please stay together, my husband and I would chant to the universe. (The gingerbread pieces, not our marriage I feel compelled to say.)

"Want the gingerbread house to not fall down!" Conor would implore loudly, getting more and more agitated.

We don't want that either, Conor, we would calmly say, gritting our teeth and exchanging knowing glances.  We're doing the best we can, honey.

Sometimes it would work out ok and the gingerbread house kit cooperated. (Usually after I beat it into submission.)  Sometimes it wouldn't, no matter how hard I pounded on it.  (Wait, maybe that's what I was doing wrong.)

Sometimes I snuck down to the dining room in the middle of the night and hot-glued walls to roofs and gumdrops to the chimney we had created. I wish I were kidding.

Sometimes Conor held himself together.  Often, he didn't. We'd keep buying these kits and trying to make them work for him. I don't know why we did. Except maybe that he was with me while I was trying to get some shopping done in Target and I would rather deal with a tantrum at home than a tantrum in public, I suppose. I shudder at the memories.

Last year, with Conor fresh off the NeuroBehavioral Unit and his community outings severely restricted, we didn't have to wrangle any of these diabolical gingerbread houses.  There were so many parts of Christmas that were hard last year, but, fortunately, discount gingerbread houses were not one.

So when my husband was preparing to go away for a few days of well-deserved respite in early December, he came home with these two gingerbread house kits "thinking," he said, (I don't think he was thinking at all) that they would be a fun activity to do while he was away.

My eyes almost bugged out of my head.

You brought WHAT into this house? And then you think you're just gonna leave?
Good lord, man, have you gone MAD?!? You know not what you are doing! Begone with those evil gingerbread houses and I banish you to the closet! 

Ok, we hid the boxes in the closet, I didn't really make my husband hide in the closet. Which was great, until Conor found the boxes.  (Guess we didn't hide them very well.  It's hard, he's such a Sneaky Suzy, my little Conor.)

Fortunately for me and Paisley, Conor didn't find the gingerbread house kit until his dad came home. He came charging into the kitchen, with the box banging around the back of his knees, gasping "Let's put the gingerbread house together!"  I gave my husband the stink-eye and smiled sweetly at Conor.

"Sure, honey," I said sweetly.  "Your dad would be happy to help you put that together."  

And they did. 

(Ok, I might have pitched in a little too. After all, my hubby and I are in this thing together, come hell or gingerbread house kits.)

And last night, at midnight, I snuck down into the dining room and hot-glued the walls back up. They were crumblin' down. 

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